The commission by the resident Equity company, which operates a 73-seat venue, is co-directed by Jesse Bush and Rachel Lampert.
Kitchen artistic director Lampert told Playbill.com, "Adam told me he always wondered, 'What would it be like if all the characters in a play were drunk?' Well, five out of the six in The Drunken City are, and it is an hysterical journey as the night-on-the-town begins through the stages of drinking and sobering up. It is replete with Adam's wild view of the world, as his stage directions say 'now the city tilts' or 'the world hiccups.' Figuring that out has been fun. Needless to say, our little theatre is not equipped with hydraulics. But there are actors flying across the stage and catching themselves on these great vertical poles that our set designer Kent Goetz, has all over the place."
Bock has been up to Ithaca several times during the rehearsal period.
"This play is not in any category," Lampert said. "It is wildly funny and then very pointed. It spikes and then recedes. It's like his other plays — they move along on a lot of rhythm in the language, kind of gliding on the surface and then quite by surprise they break through the veneer."
Bock's Swimming in the Shallows appeared in the 2002-03 KTC season (and is currently Off-Broadway). His plays have been produced in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto and Edinburgh. They include The Shaker Chair (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival), The Thugs, Five Flights (Off-Broadway) and The Typographer's Dream (2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Menier Theatre, London). His works have won the Glickman, Clauder and BATCC Awards. Bock is an artistic associate at Shotgun Players and Encore Theatre and a member of MCC Theater's Playwrights' Coalition. The Drunken City is the final presentation in KTC's 2004-05 season. Opening night is July 9.
The cast includes Alison Bacewicz, Brendan Farley, Karl Gregory, Kevin Rockower, Lauren Walsh Singerman and Erica Steinhagen.
Designers include Steve TenEyck (lighting), Richard McPike (costumes), Tim Reppert (sound).
Here's how The Drunken City is described by KTC: "Only a couple more weeks until Marnie's big wedding day. Invitations, bridesmaids, dresses, matching shoes, gloves, and bachelorette party with pink drinks are all ready to go! But what's this? The bride is kissing someone who is not the groom? The entire city tilts! In The Drunken City everyone is under the influence (maybe with alcohol, maybe just drunk with love) and everyone is trying to find some balance — especially the runaway bride-to-be."
"In the theatre there is nothing more exciting than watching a brand new play come to life," Lampert, herself a playwright, said. "I am so pleased that the Kitchen Theatre Company is collaborating with one of the brightest new playwrights on the national scene today. It is lovely to spend time in the world of Adam Bock where cities 'tilt' and lovers 'hiccup' their way towards each other."
For more information, call (607) 273-4497 or visit www.kitchentheatre.org.